A Denver Galentine's Day

If you’re a Parks and Rec fan like I am, you know all about Galentine’s Day. The idea is proposed in Episode 16 of Season Two of the show, when Leslie humorously chooses that day to lavish love on the women that she loves, is the proposal that instead of Valentine’s Day (which can be depressing for some), Galentine’s Day is a happy day to celebrate all the amazing women in your life: mothers, sisters, friends and coworkers.

This year, if you decide to celebrate Galentine’s Day, let me help you plan it. First, grab those ladies and take in one of our free programs at Anythink this month, including: the Basics of Cosplay with Leora (Anythink Huron Street) on Feb. 10; Around the World in a Cup of Tea (Anythink Wright Farms) on Feb. 12; Improv Speed Dating (Anythink Perl Mack) on Feb. 13; or DIY Perfume (Anythink York Street) on Feb. 15. Now that you've leveled up in your knowledge, you can head out for Galentines! Head into Denver or the surrounding suburbs for these five amazing night outs. (You could also use these suggestions for romantic dates if you so choose.)  

Galentine Date One: Linger and Little Man Ice Cream: From historic mortuary to ultra-cool eatery, Denver’s Linger has made quite the transition from a family funeral empire into one of the hottest eateries in Denver. The former home of the Olinger family’s funeral business, it’s now a restaurant serving up a delicious menu that embraces the spot’s morbid history.  Even the sign is the same, just dropping the “O” at night to leave the “Linger” behind. Water is served in formaldehyde bottles, and the bar was once an autopsy table. While their history is dark, the restaurant is not; it’s a great place for a night out. After you wrap up your deathly dinner, take your pals and head over to Little Man Ice Cream for some of the best flavors in town, including 16th Street Chocolate, Banana Pudding and Space Junkie.

Galentine Date Two: Union Station and Mercantile Provision

If you haven’t been to Union Station in awhile, it’s high time you gathered up your girlfriends and headed downtown to one of Denver’s jewels. Refurbished, redecorated and repurposed, Union Station is now a glittering urban gem, full of bars, restaurants, shops and things to keep even your coolest galfriends impressed. Start the night at Mercantile, a top quality food establishment without the high price tag of fine dining. Constantly honored as one of the top restaurants in Colorado, Mercantile focuses on food sourcing and taste. It bursts with color and life in a clean, polished NYC style eatery, with pastries, meats, goat cheeses and curated breads to feed any hungry lady that walks in the door. After dinner, grab a coffee or hot chocolate at Pigtrain Coffee, or a stiff drink at The Cooper Lounge.

Galentine Date Three: Tattered Cover and Cholon Asian Fusion

Tattered Cover is absolutely my favorite bookstore in Colorado. While I love libraries (obviously, since I work at one), I know that when it’s time to buy a book, I am going to Tattered Cover, a locally owned bookstore that supports community and Colorado authors. Tattered Cover in historic LoDo is a massive place, two stories high and filled with every book you could possibly imagine. It is a reader’s paradise, located at the end of the 16t Street Mall near Union Station for easy access. It’s a place for comfort, a place to curl up with your girlfriends nearby and read some books, languishing in comfortable, worn-in antique furniture. It also has a cozy coffee shop if you get thirsty. After you’ve gotten your book fix in, head over to Cholon Asian Bistro for some of the best Asian/French Fusion food in town. Split an order (or four) of the French onion soup dumplings and splurge on the 7X Wagyu steak and Enoki noodles. Cholon’s menu plays on traditional Eastern dishes, combined with European nods. It’s whimsical, a bit on the pricey side, but ultimately delicious. Trust me: your girlfriends will thank you.

Galentine Date Four: Lulu’s in Lafayette with drinks at 12 Degree Brewing

The diverse menu at Lulu’s BBQ is more than enough to please any sort of ladies: between the slow-smoked morsels of beef, chicken and smoked tofu,  the savory BBQ sauces and 11 delectable sides, this is a great (and very affordable) place to go. The Texas-style hospitality that the entire Lulu’s team displays makes for a fun evening, and it’s a pretty good excuse to don your best flannel shirt and boots in the dead of winter. After you are stuffed so full you can barely move, saunter on over to 12 Degree Brewing, where Belgian-inspired ales will take your night from fun to memorable. Started by a home brewer in 2013, 12 Degree Brewing focuses on artistry, complexity and drinkability. If they’re available, make sure to try the Foxx Rouge, Cherry Funke, and the Knocked Up. Bring a board game (may I suggest Villainous, where you each get to play a Disney villain?)   

Galentine Date Five: Asti D’Italia and The Orchard AMC Movie Theater

Love your galentines but don’t want to drive very far? No problem, we’ve got you covered. Start the night out at Asti D’Italia in the Orchard Shopping Center in Broomfield. Out here in the burbs, you may feel that you have left behind any chance of finding an authentic and non-chain Italian restaurant, but I’m here to tell you there is one right under your nose. Asti d’Italia, small and charming, and tucked right next to JCPenney, is a delightful little Italian restaurant that will feel as though you are stepping into something real and authentic, miles (say, even continents?) away from north Denver. Known for their gnocchi and mushroom risotto, this would be the perfect place to take your girlfriends for a low-key glass of wine, quality conversation and a heaps of fresh mozzarella. After dinner, head over the AMC theaters to catch a new release: female-centric movies coming out around Galentines Day include Birds of Prey, Emma, Wendy, Portrait of a Lady on Fire and All the Bright Places.